Purple Sow Thistle
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Purple Sow Thistle
ative Photo: Thingnam Sophia
Common name: Purple Sow Thistle, Cupid's shaving-brush, emilia, Flora's paint brush, red tassel-flower • Bengali: Sadhimodi, Sachimodi • Hindi: हिरनखुरि Hirankhuri, हिरनकुरि Hirankuri • Marathi: Sadamandee, Panom, undrachi • Tamil: Muyalccevi, Mayarcevi • Malayalam: Mulshevi, Muyalccevi • Manipuri: ꯇꯦꯔꯥ ꯄꯥꯢꯕꯤ ꯃꯆꯥ Tera paibi macha • Kannada: Ili kivi gida, Elikivi gida, Elikivisoppu, Jumki hoo • Oriya: Binj-kudo • Assamese: Bonkapahua • Sanskrit: Sasasruti, Sasasrutih • Tangkhul: Revival macha • Nepali: मुलापाते Mula pate, चौलाने झार Chaulaane Jhaar
Botanical name: Emilia sonchifolia    Family: Asteraceae (Sunflower family)
Synonyms: Emilia sinica, Senecio rapae, Crassocephalum sonchifolium

Purple Sow Thistle is an annual herb with a branched taproot. Stems are weak, erect or often branched at the base, smooth or sparingly hairy, 10 to 60 cm tall. This species is recognized by the sow-thistle like leaves. Lower leaves are deeply and irregularly toothed, kidney-shaped, ovate, triangular-ovate or obovate, 4-16 cm long, 1-8 cm wide with narrowly winged stalks. Upper leaves are smaller, alternately arranged, usually entire, sometimes coarsely toothed, stalkless and somewhat clasping the main stem. Inflorescence is an involucrate flower head resembling a single flower, 1.2-1.4 cm long, 4-5 mm wide, urn-shaped, long-stalked, at the end of branches. Flowering branches usually dichotomously branched with 3-6 heads, each head or capitulum a composite of numerous florets. The cup of the flower-head is green, cylindrical, somewhat inflated below. Florets are 30-60 per head, purple, scarlet, red, pink, orange, white or lilac. Purple Sow Thistle is found in the Himalayas, up to altitudes of 2100 m.
Medicinal uses: It is one of the most commonly used plants in Manipur. Its main uses are in stomach complaints. Fresh leaves are eaten raw with Ametpa (alocal delicacy prepared with chilies and fermented small fishes called Ngari) for 5-6 days. Three or four leaves are eaten daily in this manner.

Identification credit: Navendu Pāgé Photographed in Imphal, Manipur & JNCASR, Bangalore.

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